The 31st session of the Hebei Provincial Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) recently adopted its first regulation on the protection of local women's rights and interests, which will take effect on September 1, 2017.
The Establishment of an Accountability System to Ensure Women's Equal Rights of Employment and Crack Down on Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
Safeguarding women's equal rights of employment is not only the underlying demand of the implementation of the basic state policy of gender equality, but is also the embodiment of social civilization and progress.
The establishment of an accountability system related to women's equal rights of employment and gender discrimination in the workplace will incorporate women's recruitment into the scope of labor and social security supervision, providing the most solid legal basis and the most reliable legal guarantee for women's equal employment across the province.
Lounges and Nursery Rooms Should Be Built by Enterprises in Case of Need
The regulation stipulates that large public places should equip themselves with a reasonable number of women's toilet cubicles and nursery rooms due to women's special physiological needs.
The regulation also provides that enterprises with a large proportion of female employees should establish pregnant women's lounges and nursing rooms.
In order to crack down on sexual harassment in public places, the legislation also specifies the responsibilities of business owners, as well as penalties of negligence of duty.
The regulation also urges schools and kindergartens to carry out sex education according to students' different physiological stages, with a view to preventing sexual assault of minors.
In addition, the regulation calls for the establishment of a rights protection system for women with special needs.
Ensuring Rural Women Enjoy Equal Rights
For rural women's land rights, the term "family-based allocation of property" is first mentioned in the rule, providing a legal basis for rural women to enjoy equal rights in a collective economy.
The regulation specifies the relevant rights of common property of husband and wife and also increases divorce protection clauses for women with special needs.
Domestic violence issues are mentioned in the regulation as well.
Take the Lead in Establishing a Gender Equality Assessment Mechanism for Laws and Policies
Wang Dongmei, vice-president of Hebei Women's Federation, said that in the form of provincial-leveled legislation, Hebei Province will first establish a gender equality evaluation mechanism for laws and policies, promoting the coordinated development between men and women at the level of policies and laws.
"The regulation strengthens the responsibilities of departments. In addition to penalties of negligence of duty in the protection of women's rights, it also defines the legal liability of departments who fail to cooperate with local women's federations", Wang added.
(Source: Hebei.com.cn / Translated and edited by Gender Study Network)